Nelson Central School is a state primary school contributing pupils to Nelson Intermediate School and Nelson College Preparatory Schools.
Nelson Central School is a central city school established in 1878 and is confined to a single site. The roll currently ranges between 400 and 490 with around seventy five year old enrolments each year. Almost all new entrants have one to two years in an early childhood education facility. These include kindergartens, playcentres, Montessori pre-schools, creches and day care centres as well as kohanga reo. Transition to school is aided by close liaison and pre-enrolment visits.
Population mobility is a factor which needs to be taken into consideration in each year's organisation. Up to 40% of the total roll can change in any one year. Short term enrolments are common.
The school population is a broad cross-section of the total Nelson socio-economic population with no group predominating. The number of Maori children enrolled at the school is proportionately greater than would be expected given the total Maori population in Nelson city.
Bi-lingual classes are available for any student and whanau members who wish to learn in English and Maori.